Why Edwards Lifesciences Shares Got Crushed

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW  ) plummeted 22% today after the heart valve maker's quarterly results and outlook missed Wall Street expectations.

So what: Edwards' first quarter results -- adjusted EPS of $0.72 on revenue of $496.7 million versus the consensus of $0.76 and $519 million, respectively -- and downbeat guidance for the full year reinforce recent concerns over slowing growth going forward. Specifically, sales of the company's new Sapien heart valves just aren't growing as quickly as the stock's seemingly lofty P/E requires, forcing analysts to recalibrate their expectations yet again.

Now what: Management now sees full-year adjusted EPS of $3.00-$3.10 on sales of $2 billion-$2.1 billion, below Wall Street's view of $3.27 and $2.14 billion, respectively.

"We remain committed to our high level of investment in our pipeline of new products ... and now project R&D to be 16 percent of sales in 2013," said Chairman and CEO Michael Mussallem. "We believe this enables us to aggressively develop our innovative product lines, driving long term growth and extending our leadership position in structural heart therapies and critical care technologies." More important, with the stock hitting a new 52-week low today and trading at a forward P/E in the mid-teens, the valuation might finally be low enough to gain from that progress.

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Interested in more info on Edwards? Add it to your watchlist. 

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